Closing Stages

THE OLIVET DISCOURSE

By Michael E. Rogers

Reign Scent Ministries

Closing stages

Matthew 24 The Olivet Discourse

All scripture references are from the New King James Bible version unless otherwise indicated.

Copyright © 2008, Reign Scent Ministries, All rights reserved.

Reign Scent Ministries

Table Of Content

INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 1: Closing Stages CHAPTER 2: The Apocalyptic Rider CHAPTER 3: Abomination of Desolation CHAPTER 4: Sign Of The End Of The Age CHAPTER 5: Sign Of Christ’s Coming CHAPTER 6: Rapture Initiates Wrath CHAPTER 7: The Day Of The Lord

1 9 14 19 27 33 39 44

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THE OLIVET DISCOURSE INTRODUCTION You’ve invited some friends over for dinner on Friday night promising a meal they won’t forget. But you have never fixed this particular dish before, what do you do? You go to your kitchen cupboard where you keep your cook books and pull one out to look up the recipe. Once you find it the first thing you do is look to see what ingredients you’ll need. After you have collected all the ingredients together, the next step is to read the cooking instructions, so you dig in and start cooking in anticipation of your friend’s arrival. Preparing for the Second Coming of Christ is much the same! The Word of God contains the recipe’s needed to prepare oneself for His arrival. It has all the ingredients you will ever need to prepare, you just have to understand the instructions given to make yourself ready. The greatest interest regarding prophecy normally revolves around two pivotal questions; When will Christ come? And when will the Rapture take place? Let's face up to it, we want to know who, what, where, when, why and how! And yes, we want to know it instantly! But let's consider if just for a moment: If we had everything figured out, "down to a T," where would faith come in? It would be by our own intuitional skills, rather than God's grace and revelation. The sad thing is, everyone bickers and fights with one another as though they have it all figured out. When it comes to eschatology, even bible scholars, our self proclaimed experts are no expert on end time scenarios. Everyone who writes on the subject splits hairs in an attempt to prove their view. In the end, nobody agrees with each other, thus, most are left confused and confounded on just what to believe. Some suppose that God has obscured the details that surround His Return. All will assert that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, but presume that the Bible provides no orderly list of signs and events which mark the close of this present age. In a nut shell, the real problem is not with inspiration, but with interpretation. Part of the confusion we face today concerning prophecy is that we listen to too many voices. To discover truth all one really needs is the Bible, a good Greek lexicon, a dictionary, and most important of all, much prayer. Every true child of God possesses the anointing needed to ascertain truth; it just takes a lot of hard work. Once truth is obtained, it’s just a matter of continuance. Truth stands the test of time and remains unchangeable and untarnished. The anointing of the Holy Spirit in every believer will enable them to distinguish truth from error ~ 1 John 2:27-28. There is only one single truth out of which all that is truth flows. Our greatest enemy is found within ourselves and the perceptions we have of this truth. Therefore, truth does not come from within, it must come from above. “The Truth” is Jesus, for He is the embodiment of all that is truth, His life, death, resurrection and all that He taught. I served under a pastor as an elder for several years and we often would sit in his office and discuss the many topics churches struggle with in the Word of God. One day he asked me what I believed about the rapture. Truthfully, the only thing I really knew about the subject was that there was one, and it could happen at any time. I had never really searched the scripture out on the subject electing to just accept what was acceptable by the church. He challenged me to study the topic starting with Matthew chapter twenty four. With no former knowledge of the prewrath rapture view I began searching the scriptures using Matthew 24 as my spring board. It took me about a year of intense study but what I found was so different from what I had been taught I was almost afraid to share my findings with him. But, I entered his office and told him I had finished my study and see the rapture as prewrath. I shared with him some of my findings and my belief
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that the church will be present during most of the seventieth week of Daniel. He just smiled at me, got up from his chair, walked to his book case and pulled out a book and handed it to me. It was the “prewrath rapture of the church” by Marvin Rosenthal. My jaw dropped and I was stunned that the doctrine already existed. I took the book and read it through, twice, only to discover that my findings matched his. This was conformation that I had indeed discovered truth. The Olivet Discourse is the private teaching of Jesus to His disciples and was intended to be past on to every believer. It is Jesus’ Prophetic Discourse concerning the end of the age and Jesus uses the tragic events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem as a picture of conditions preceding His own return. Though many contest it, the Olivet Discourse was written for the Church Jesus established through His Apostles. When consideration of the context is made, it becomes clearly evident that Jesus was speaking to and of believers i.e. his disciples. Several arguments can be made that Jesus’ teaching in the Olivet Discourse was intended for the Church, not just for Israel, they are as follows: 1. First, studying all the second and third person expressions in the Olivet Discourse (you; they), it is clear that Jesus was not talking to Israel but to his Disciples. Jesus used the word “you” fifteen times in the chronological section of His discourse—Matthew 24:4-44. Some contend that the Gospel of Matthew was written for the Jewish community only and is not applicable to the Church. However, Matthew is the only book of the four Gospels where the word “church” is even used. It does not appear in Mark, Luke, or John. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus responded to Peter’s revelation that He was the Christ, the Son of God by saying; “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church.” It is indicated by the context that Jesus would “build” His church through and by His disciples, Christ being the chief cornerstone. The twelve disciples after His ascension became the twelve Apostles, the foundation of which the church is built. “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone”—Eph. 2:19-20. Secondly, Jesus also gave instruction to His disciples in Matthew 18:15-20 concerning Church discipline. Today, nearly every church follows this procedure when disciplining an erring brother. Three steps are given, (1) in private, (2) with witnesses, (3) before the church. The purpose is to gain your brother back into fellowship, restoration is the primary goal. If then, chapter eighteen is recognized by the church by-large as both useful and doctrinal, why then is chapter twenty four and twenty five excluded? Could it be that many who hold to an already false view of eschatology refuse to change their view for “truth’s sake,” because they might loose face with their constituents? Though I believe this to be the case an even more frightening reason is they may loose money because after all, if they change their view, they would have to recall all the books written on the subject. Thirdly, Jesus commissioned His Disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you
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always, even to the end of the age”—Matthew 28:19-20. When Jesus instructed His disciples to teach all nations to observe all things that He commanded, that includes the Olivet Discourse. To exclude it would violate Jesus’ command to take His teachings to the nations. The church is commissioned to make disciples, then to teach them that they are “to be kept in charge,” everything that is to be fulfilled. This is the meaning behind the Greek word entello translated “commanded.” All that Jesus taught and commanded are to be handed down and entrusted to those who become disciples “until the end of the age.” Again, there is not an evangelical church in existence that does not recognize chapter twenty eight as a doctrinal standing and a direct command to fulfill the commission given by our Lord to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” Yet the very one’s who do so somehow still refuse to acknowledge the Olivet Discourse as Jesus’ teaching pliable to the church. 2. It is the “elect” who become the primary focus of the Olivet Discourse, a term used in the New Testament applied only to the church, both Jew and Gentile. The Greek word for elect is eklektos meaning “chosen ones,” chosen to obtain salvation through Jesus Christ. The Greek word appears twenty eight times in the New Testament. Twenty times the word is directly applied to the Church. The Church is made up of both Jew and Gentile believers. It is used three times in the Olivet Discourse. The Salvation of the Elect applies to more than just the salvation of the soul, it also applies to the physical deliverance of the believer at Christ’s return, including the salvation from the delusions of the Antichrist and the doom of the deceived ~ 2 Thess. 2:9-131 First, it is used in the context of the Great Tribulation, which will be cut short by the parousia~(coming) of Christ.—Matt. 24:21-22. Secondly, Jesus depicts false christ's and false prophets rising up in the attempt to deceive the Elect—Matt 24:24-26. Thirdly, the elect are being gathered together unto Christ at his parousia (coming) in the sky. The Greek word for “gather together” is eipsunago and demands that the Olivet Discourse be seen in light of the Rapture. The Greek preposition epi added to the verb sunago changes the basic sense of the verb. It gives direction to the gathering. It is an upward direction, a taking up and assembling together ~ Matt. 24:29-31. 3. Matthew 24:9-12,21 describes both the apostasy (falling away) of Counterfeit Christianity and the persecution of God’s elect. Those who believe in and embrace the name of Jesus will be hated, betrayed, and delivered over to persecution by those who are the apostate. Christianity will be tested, to be offended at the name of Jesus is described in the Greek as a stumbling block or impediment put in the way, upon which another may trip and fall.2 The effects of the offence will cause a person to begin to distrust and desert the one (Jesus) whom he ought to trust and obey. They will no longer acknowledge his authority and will
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Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. 1996. Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words . T. Nelson: Nashville 2 Strong, J. 1996. The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the test of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.). Woodside Bible Fellowship.: Ontario 3

disapprove of what they see in Christianity, namely, the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The Greek word for “offended” is skandalizo, it is where we get our English word scandal from. The noun to which it is related referred to the bait-stick of a trap and is always used to describe that which hinders right conduct or thought, hence, “to cause to stumble.” 3 There is a religious system to Christianity that is not necessarily Christian. The church is mingled with those who are simply religious but not righteous. The religious are tares sown in amongst the wheat (the fruit of Christ’s Sacrifice) ~ Matt. 13:24-30. 4. Matthew 24:12 states “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” The Greek word used here for love is “agape,” it is a love that no one can express or experience except through the Holy Spirit. This verse describes not the love the world knows and shares, but Christian love. It is the agape love revealed in Jesus, seen as spiritual and selfless, a love that is a model to humanity. It is defined in 1 Corinthians 13 as a love that suffers long and is kind, does not envy, does not parade itself, is not puffed up, a love that does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. It is this very same love that will enable the elect to endure to the end with the promise of deliverance ~ Matt 24:13. A waning love is the picture given here which decreases gradually in intensity like that of the moon which shows a decreasing illuminated surface between a full moon and a new moon. The agape (Christian) love for Christ and each other will be reduced to the infidelity of the faith and the absence of belief itself. It will be because of the name of Jesus that many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. A shadow of this waning love can be seen in the church today. Never before has the church been divided as it is today. In spite of the Bible’s teaching that there should be no schism (division) in the body, that the members should have the same care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25), denominational and doctrinal lines have been established partitioning the body of Christ into neat little groups all opposing one another. 5. In the second person expressions Jesus uses (See point 1.), it is obvious that he was not talking about the disciples directly as though they would experience these events first hand. He was talking to His disciples who were to take His teaching of the end of the age to the world (Matt 24:14). Within these second person expressions there are three phrases that are personal in nature confirming the churches presence within the 70th week. a) The first phrase is “ Because the Olivet Discourse includes the church in its context does not nullify Israel’s role in the Seventieth week of Daniel. This last prophetic week begins and ends with Israel. Like the Gospels and the book of Acts, this last prophetic week is transitional. At the end of the seventy weeks prophesied by Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27) Israel’s estrangement from God will come to an end when God will bring in “everlasting righteousness” after the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, then all of Israel will be saved. Until then, a partial blindness has happened to Israel. “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The
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The Spirit Life Bible, Jack Hayford, Litt.D. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville. 1991 4

Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins ~ Romans 11:25-27. The purpose of the Seventieth Week of Daniel is four fold. The primary function of the Great Tribulation (persecution of God’s elect and Israel by Antichrist) will be to separate the wheat (Bond Servants of Christ; the elect) from the tares (Counterfeit Christianity). The Day of the Lord is the time when God will purge and purify Israel. It will be a time when the blindness of Israel will be lifted and as a Nation, she will look to Christ for redemption and deliverance. It will be a time when Jesus Christ destroys Satan’s dominion and authority over the worlds systems and Christ will reign as King of Kings, gloriously establishing the His Kingdom on earth. It will be a time when God will Judge the ungodly. For Israel, the Olivet Discourse has both near and far implications. Jesus opens his Discourse predicting the Destruction of the Temple. “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be upon another, that shall not be thrown down”—Matthew 24:1-2. The Diaspora of Israel The near implications indicated by Jesus would be the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. This is described by Jesus in His Temple Mount Discourse ~ Luke 21. Unlike the Abomination of Desolation (far prophetic), the day of Jerusalem’s destruction “are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled”—Luke 21:22. Israel has always been noted by Scripture as a stiff necked, hard hearted, stubborn, rebellious, unbelieving nation. These traits are imbedded in her history, running through the Old Testament up to and including her persistent rebellion against Rome. Israel capitalized on these traits when she rejected her Messiah and King Jesus Christ. A curse had been decreed by God through His servant Moses that He would scatter His chosen nation among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other where they would find no rest and would live in constant fear for their lives—Deut. 28:64-68. This curse found its fulfillment in A.D. 70 when Roman centurions under General Titus utterly destroyed Israel because of the Jew’s rebellion against Rome. The armies of Titus demolished Jerusalem, slaughtered most of the occupants, turned the temple into rubble and caused every surviving Jew in Jerusalem to flee—”from one end of the earth to the other.” Today, modern day Israel accounts for about one third of the world’s Jewish population. More Jews live in the United States than in Israel. It is estimated that there are 13 million Jews world wide; six million of them live in the United States, and only 4.6 million in Israel. Though Israel recovered its right to
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exist as a Sovereign State in 1948, still she is dispersed among the nations of the world.

Times of the Gentiles “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”—Luke 21:24. The times of the gentiles begin with Nebuchadnezzar's conquest of Judah. Jerusalem is taken and the first wave of Jews carried into captivity, Daniel among them. Jerusalem will henceforth be trodden down by the gentiles as the times of the gentiles run its course between the Babylonian captivity and the end of Daniels Seventieth Week. Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and finally Rome, all afflicted Jerusalem throughout history. Since the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70 Jews have settled in nations all over the world only to be dispersed and driven out by persecution. Nazi Germany killed more Jews during World War II than any nation in history. Revelations 11:2 gives us the timing to when “the times of the Gentiles” are fulfilled. “But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty two months. When Jesus said that Jerusalem would be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the "times of the Gentiles be fulfilled," He did not mean until the Jews would again take control of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount from Gentile hands. But instead He was specifically referring to those successive Gentile political powers revealed by the prophet Daniel, which would have dominion over national Israel starting with Babylon and ending with the revived Roman Empire under Antichrist. Today Israel is again back as a nation and, according to the prophet Daniel, the last phase of Gentile dominance over her will soon develop as well. This last Gentile dominion is described as the ten toes on the statue in Daniel chapter two, and the ten horns on the fourth beast (along with the little horn, Antichrist) in Daniel chapter seven. Though Israel has become a State she still has not gained control of the Temple Mount, there is still the ongoing Islamic control over her most sacred site - the Temple Mount. The times of the Gentiles will be brought to an end by the destruction of Antichrist and his armies at the battle of Armageddon by the "stone cut out without hands (Jesus Christ)" (Dan 2:34, 35, 44), i.e. the coming of the Lord in glory (Rev 19:11-21). Partial blindness “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in”—Romans 11:25. The blinding (or hardening, Rom. 11:7) of Israel as a nation is neither total nor final: it is both partial and temporary. The question is, how long will it last? Paul gives us this answer, “Until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Rom. 11:25). “Blindness,” is described in the Enhanced Strong’s Concordance as, “the covering with a callus, obtrusiveness of mental discernment, dulled perception, the mind of one that has been blunted, of stubbornness,
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obstinacy. Romans 11:25 shows that this blindness is in part and will remain upon the nation of Israel until the end of the Seventieth Week of Daniel. But when did this blindness come upon Israel? There rejection of Christ was not what instituted the blindness but was instigated by their blindness. When Jesus appeared to Israel as the Savor, blindness was already upon them. Scripture confirms the blindness of Israel was not only self induced but began in the wilderness at Mount Sinai. “Unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away”—2 Corinthians 3:13-15. Because of unbelief “God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day”—Romans 11:8. Individually, any Jew can turn to the Lord Jesus and the blindness is removed by the new birth, they then become the ”remnant according to the election of grace”—Romans 11:5. As a nation, “until this day” Israel still remains sightless, both to the Scripture and to her Messiah. A canopy of obscurity to spiritual truth keeps Israel from the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This blindness not only was the source of Israel’s rejection of Christ, but will be the basis of her acceptance of Antichrist. Jesus made an insightful statement when talking to the Jews who were seeking a means to kill Him. In John 5:43,45-47 Jesus told them, “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive...Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” Jesus addresses the core of Israel’s unbelief, though they trusted in Moses, they could not see the significance of His words. Jesus gives a prophetic implication to His statement “if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.” Considering the present day tensions in the Middle East, when the Antichrist emerges as a world leader Israel will enter into a covenant with him believing they are securing peace for their nation. Him, they will receive. “Then he (Antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many (Israel) for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate”—Daniel 9:27. In Romans chapter 11 Paul teaches a truth that is of great importance if we are going to understand “who” Jesus is referring to in His Olivet Discourse when reference is made to the elect. Israel’s blindness is in part, that is, any Jew who receives Jesus Christ by faith “is a remnant according to the election of grace—Vs.5.” Paul gives an illustration of the natural olive tree which represents the nation of Israel. The “part” that is in blindness was “broken off, and you (the Gentile) being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree—Vs. 17. Because of Israel’s blindness and rejection of Messiah, their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles— Vs.12. The purpose and program of God in this dispensation is the calling out from among Jew and Gentile a people for His name, the New Testament Church which is the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; Acts 15:14). As soon as the Church is completed, Israel will come into God’s blessing again. The natural branches (which were broken off that the wild olive branch might be grafted
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in) will be grafted in again and God will again deal with Israel as His elect nation. But this does not happen until the end of the Seventieth Week of Daniel, not “until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in”—Vs.25. God sent Christ not only to be the Savior of Israel, but to be the Savior of all who believe on Him. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”—Galatians 3:13-14. National Israel is not excluded from the election of God, but rather, their election is put off because of unbelief, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, then God will reinstate Israel as the primal nation above all others. Until then, the Gentile (the wild olive branch) has been grafted into the remnant according to grace (the natural olive tree) and constitutes the Church, (the body of Christ) elect of God in this present age. Understanding this in light of Matthew 24 it becomes clear that Jesus is referring to His Church as the elect who will go into “great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved, but for the elect’s sake those day swill be shortened”—Matthew 24:21-22. National Israel along with the elect will suffer persecution at the hands of Antichrist. For the Church, after the tribulation of those days she is gathered together unto Christ at His parousia (coming)—Vs.27-31. National Israel will face the Day of the Lord where she will be purged and purified. Then, Christ will physically return to the earth, deliver Israel from the armies that gather at Armageddon, destroy the Antichrist and set up his Millennial Kingdom where Israel will enjoy preeminence over all nations. God will fulfill his covenant with Abraham in Israel and Christ will govern the nations as King of kings and Lord of lords.

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Chapter One Closing stages Matthew 24:3-14
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them; “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars, see that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Here in Matthew 24:3-14 Jesus gives a general overview of events within the last Prophetic Week of Daniel 9:24-27. Verses 4-14 list characteristics of the first half of Daniels Seventieth Week, while 15-44 deal with the second half. Following the flow of Jesus’ teaching to His disciples He describes a string of events that occur in succession to one another indicated by the word “and” (a conjunction used to indicate an additional thing, linking two or more events that must occur together), and also the word “then” (an adverb used to indicate a particular event subsequent in time, order, or position.) As we study this passage, the chronological itinerary Jesus gives his Disciples harmonizes with the Revelation. Jesus is the author of both the Olivet Discourse and the Revelation. Both collaborate each other the teaching of Jesus concerning the end of the age. Both are intended for and applicable to the Church. The Olivet Discourse is the private teaching of Jesus to his Disciples who were instructed in Matthew 28:18-20 to “make disciples of all nations...teaching them to observe ALL THINGS that I have commanded you.” The Revelation was given by Jesus Christ to His servant John with instruction to write what he saw in a book, and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him to show His servants things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw...What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia…”—Revelation 1:1-2,11a. In warning the disciples against false signs, Jesus sketches the prevailing conditions God’s elect will face once the Seventieth Week of Daniel begins. There will be religious deception, social and political upheaval, natural calamities, disloyalty, and persecution unparallel to any time in the world’s history.

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The critical question! “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?—Matt. 24:3 The Disciples question hits on the very issue that has caused much division in the Church today—When and what? The timing of the Rapture has been the most debated issue of modern time. Yet, Jesus clearly gives the timing of His return providing a backdrop of two signs that will be given central to His Second Coming, the sign of the end of the age and the sign of His coming. A sign is an unusual occurrence, transcending the common course of nature. Signs reveal remarkable events soon to happen. Signs are phenomenon with distinguishing characteristics leaving no question to its meaning. Signs are miracles or wonders given to validate or demonstrate divine truth and purpose. The disciples asked this critical question in the exact order that the events will occur. First Christ will return, followed by the end of the age, that is, the Day of the Lord—Matthew 24:27-39. God decreed at creation “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years”—Genesis 1:14. When Christ was born an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. “Then the angel said to them, Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you; You will find the Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger”—Luke 2:10-12. A sign as well was given to wise men from the East who traveled to Israel to worship the Christ child. The particular sign given them was His star. “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him”—Matthew 2:1-2. Signs are a big part of Jewish culture “For indeed, Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom”—1 Cor. 1:22. As signs were given, marking the birth of Christ, signs will be given marking His return. The Disciples specifically wanted to know the sign of Christ’s return, “What will be the sign of Your coming?” They also wanted to know the sign of the end of the age, “What will be the sign...of the end of the age?” Jesus taught them that the signs will occur in the reverse order of the events. First would be the sign of the end of the age followed by the sign of His coming. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”—Matthew 24:29-30.

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Religious Deception “And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you”— Matthew 24:4. Jesus’ appeal to “Take heed that no one deceives you” is given with much urgency. The meaning behind the two words “take heed” is discernment, the ability to have spiritual sight. This warning from the Lord is to be a shield for the generational church that enters the seventieth week, for many will come in Jesus’ name saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many—Vs.5. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many—Vs.11. For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect—Vs. 24. Deception will be paramount and the believer is to be watchful and ready. When the sea is calm each sailor appears as skilled as the next, but when the sea becomes angry only the finest sailor can guide his ship through treacherous waters. There are as many forms of deception in the world as there are faces. An underline truth concerning deception is that before one can be deceived from without they must first be deceived within. In other words, they buy into the lie, reasoning within themselves, weighing the evidence presented the grass looks greener on the other side. People generally first deceive themselves even when truth is known to them. Eve is a classic example, she bought into the lie of the serpent even though God had said “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surly die”—Gen. 2:17. Yet “she saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate”—Gen. 3:6. Eve saw three benefits to eating the forbidden fruit, she inspected the fruit and based on her own perceptions she saw only what was obvious, it was good for food. The fruit was desirable to look upon; its beauty captivated her for it provided personal pleasure by its mere presence. But it gave her something else, a longing for prosperity; too have the knowledge of God, to be more exact, to be like God. To become wise seemed reasonable to Eve, unfortunately her definition of wise was self rule, not dependency upon God. Self rule is the root of deception no matter what form it may present itself. I fell into deception once. I got caught up in the religious deception of Fundamentalism, a staunch radical religion who are also known as separatist, rooted in the deep south. They lack in the love, mercy, and grace of God focusing primarily on the outward conformity of a person rather than an inward change. The Pastor became cultic and used fear, guilt and intimidation as controlling mechanisms to manipulate any who would question or oppose him. It cost me my first marriage and everything I owned. Because of it I wasn’t able to see my children for ten years. I knew the Bible, I understood truth, I was even warned by the Holy Spirit on many occasions but shrugged it off thinking my mind was playing tricks on me. So, what was I missing that cause such a calamity? I was missing Hebrews 5:13-14—”For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” I was the classic “spoon feed” Christian! I didn’t have the power acquired by practice. I wasn’t disciplined in the Word to distinguish the real nature of the evil that overtook me. This is what Jesus meant by “Take heed that no one deceive you.” Antichrist, false christ's,
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false prophets will merely be Satan’s ministers who transform themselves appearing as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 10:13-15) to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Religious deception will be the itinerary of the Antichrist. “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working (in the NT used only of superhuman power, whether of God or of the Devil) of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying (A conscious and intentional falsehood) wonders, and with all unrighteous deception (signifies all manner of unscrupulous words and deeds designed to “deceive”) among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved—2 Thessalonians 2:9-10. As the final Day of the Lord approaches, when evil rouses and the limiting forces are withdrawn, Antichrist will come under the cloak of religion. Revelation chapter 17 depicts the rise of the Antichrist ascending out of the bottomless pit (the Abyss) and going to perdition. He will form an alliance of ten nations who will be of one mind and will give their power and authority to him. A woman is seen sitting on the beast (Antichrist) “arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of her fornication”—Rev. 17:4. Verse one portrays her as “the great harlot who sits on many waters.” The waters are described in verse 15 as peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues and the woman is “that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth”—Vs. 18. On her forehead a name was written: “MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Babylon the Great is either referring to a false religious system (the great harlot of 17:1) or to the corrupt city situated on seven hills (the great city of 17:18). Either way, it is referring to Satan’s false religious system, a universal religious system which Satan controls and which Antichrist will use to initiate his agenda. Some believe that Antichrist himself will launch false christ’s and false prophets into the world to create deception of a grand scale, himself being the head. His plan will work, the world will marvel and follow the beast. A world wide Satanic revival will be seen as everyone that does not receive the love of the truth will be struck with a strong delusion by God and they will worship the dragon (Satan) along with the Antichrist. When we compare Jesus’ warning to His disciples, “Take heed that no one deceive you,” with the letters to the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3, Jesus gives exhortations which are personal in character constituting instruction and warning to the Church in general as well to the individual Christian. Each letter given to the churches ends in a personal exhortation beginning with the phrase ‘He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ The letters to the seven churches reveals what appears to be a sweeping picture of the future of Christ’s Church. We find in the letters that some congregations and individual members were developing serious spiritual deficiencies, even allowing Satan to lead them astray. The church of Ephesus had those who said they were apostles and were not but were found to be liars. The church in Smyrna dealt with those who said they are Jews but are a synagogue of Satan. Jesus illustrates that within the church of Pergamos was where Satan’s throne is. Thyatira allowed Jezebel, a false prophetess to teach and seduce the servants of Jesus to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. This church was identified as knowing the depths of Satan. The church of Sardis was called by our Lord, the dead church. Even the faithful church of Philadelphia had to contend with those of the synagogue of Satan, men posing as Jews but were liars. And the Laodicean church was lukewarm and self deceived. These illustrations were given by Jesus describing the seven literal churches of John’s day and revealing the condition of
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the church entering into the seventieth week of Daniel. Satan has always tried to gain a foothold in the church of God and will use any deception available to him to gain her worship. Is the servant greater than his master? Satan offered the kingdoms of the world and all there glory to Jesus if he would just worship him. This will be the vigor of his persecution against the saints of God during the Great Tribulation. Those who refuse his mark and refuse to worship him will be destroyed. The message of Jesus today to His church is, “Take heed that no one deceive you.”

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Chapter Two ~ The Apocalyptic rider The key to the timing of the Rapture is in comparing Matt. 24 with Rev. 6. John F. Wolvoord wrote: “There is a remarkable similarity between the progress of Revelation chapter 6 as a whole and the description given by our Lord of the end of the age in Matthew 24:4-31. In both passages the order is (1) war (Matt. 24:6-7; 24:7-9; Rev. 6:7-8), (2) famine (Matt 24:7; Rev. 6:5-6), (3) death (Matt. 24:7-9; Rev. 6:7-8), (4) martyrdom (Matt. 24:9-10, 16-22; Rev. 6:9-11), (5) the sun darkened, the moon darkened, and the stars falling (Matt. 24:29; Rev. 6:1214), (6) a time of divine judgment (Matt. 24:32-25:26; Rev. 6:15-17). The general features of Matthew 24 are obviously quite parallel to the events of the book of Revelation beginning in chapter 6. As we parallel the Olive Discourse to the account given in Revelation 6-8:1, six things stand out as characteristic of the last days. 1. A counterfeit spiritual movement will arise and we will see an increase in spiritual hunger among the world nations. The masses will marvel at the Antichrist and be integrated into his religious deception. 2. A severe persecution against God’s people together with false prophets arising within the church, will cause many to leave the faith, betray the true believer and align themselves with the Antichrist. 3. There will be a strong moral decline in the world outside the church which will have a lethal effect on the love for God in the heart of many within the Church. 4. The Gospel of the kingdom of God will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all people groups. 5. The elect of God will be gathered from the four corners of the earth, Jesus will appear on the clouds and rapture his church out of the world 6. Upon the return of Jesus, after He has gathered the church to Himself, the Day of the Lord will commence. DECEIVER (First Seal) “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many”— Matt. 24:5. “Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, ‘Come and see.’ And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer”—Rev..6:1-2. Daniel identifies this rider as the “prince that shall come,” who will make a covenant with Israel to protect her from her enemies—Daniel 9:26-27. This future world dictator will begin his career as a peacemaker but deceit will be his underline agenda. Daniel describes the rise of the Antichrist this way: “A king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power, he shall destroy fearfully and shall prosper and thrive, he
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shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule”—Daniel 8:23-25. Sinister schemes are enigma’s, riddles, something that is not easily explained or understood. He will be highly intelligent and his power to confound and confuse the minds of men will give him the upper hand. But his power is not his own, his coming will be the working of Satan with all unrighteous deception (2 Thess. 2:9-10). It will be his ability to deceive that shall cause him to prosper and thrive, to go out conquering and to conquer. The rise of Antichrist to power will first be through political and religious influence he will have with other nations. The bow that this first rider has is a long range weapon indicating that Antichrist’s political and religious influence will be felt worldwide. The crown he is wearing is the victor’s crown (GK. Stephanos), but notice the crown was given to him. His ability to sway and allure nations to give him authority is the nucleus of his deceptive ability. Revelations 17:11-13 describes the rise of Antichrist this way: “The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. The ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.” The crown is a symbol of authority or right to rule. That the crown is given to him indicates that Antichrist does not take authority, it is given to him. The Beast “Antichrist” as described by John in the Revelation will be the eighth beast empire (revived Roman empire) who will be given all the power and authority of the ten horns “kings of his day” forming a ten nation alliance through which he will launch his campaign of world domination. What follows this “king” is a reign of terror the world has never seen before. DESTROYER (Second Seal) “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom”—Matthew 24:6-7a “When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come and see,’ Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword”—Rev. 6:3-4. After the Antichrist has established himself as the dominant world leader he will then launch his war machine. The peace he offered to nations will be short lived. Paul credits him with the significant title, “the lawless one”—2 Thess. 2:9. Society well experience a moral meltdown and lawlessness will abound. Jesus said “and because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold”—Matt. 24:12. The undertaking of the man of lawlessness is subversive. His goal is to destroy and dominate the world. He opposes God and is the adversary of Jesus Christ, he will exalt himself over every so called god that is worshiped, and his ploy to deceive will be signs and wonders. With them he will astonishing those who view it. He will have a deluding influence on those who perish because they reject the truth and believe the lie. The “lawless one” will have contempt for Divine law and will neither have regard for God or man.
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“He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things”—Daniel 11:37-38. These verses give clues as to who Antichrist will honor. He shall neither regard the God of his fathers, nor any god but will exalt himself above them all. In their place he shall honor a god of fortresses. There are two kings and two cities mentioned in Scripture that fits this description—The King of Tyre—Ezekiel 28, and the King of Babylon—Isaiah 14. He is mentioned in Ezekiel 28:2 as the prince of Tyre, then as the King of Tyre in Vs. 12. Tyre was the Phoenician city on the Mediterranean coast located in modern day Lebanon just north of Israel. The name Tyre means “a rock.” Tyre is noted in Scripture as a strongly fortified city, it literally was a fortress. Jos 19:29; 2Sa 24:7; Eze 26:17; Zec 9:3. In Isaiah 23:2 Tyre is said to be the marketplace for the nations, it was a city noted for its commerce and trading. Tyre’s supply of weapons and soldiers were men from Persia—modern day Iran, Lydia—modern day turkey, and Lud—modern day Libya. What is interesting to note is, today, Iran—ancient Persia again is the supplier of both men and weapons to Lebanon. The prince of Tyre is described in Ezekiel 28 as a man who was self exalting and considered himself a god. It is clear by the text that he was the human ruler of Tyre. “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord God: Because your heart is lifted up, and you say, I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, In the midst of the seas, yet you are a man, and not a god, though you set your heart as the heart of a god. Behold, you are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from you! With your wisdom and your understanding you have gained riches for yourself, and gathered gold and silver into your treasuries”—Ezekiel 28:2-4. As a prince he exalted himself and compared himself to that of a god. Ezekiel then turns to the King of Tyre, the one motivating the human ”ruler“ of Tyre (Vs. 12) and his true identity comes into view. “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God: You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. Your were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering; The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day your were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers, I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God and I destroyed you, O covering cherub from the midst of the fiery stones”—Ezek. 28:12-16. His same presumptuous claim is seen in Isaiah 14:12-15, where the king of Babylon exalts himself to a high position. Many see in this passage and in Isaiah 14 the fall of Satan. In all these passages the one claiming “divine’ status is Lucifer, son of the morning, the anointed cherub who covers, described by Daniel as a god of fortresses, the very “god” whom Antichrist
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will honor. Satan is described in the New Testament as the ruler of this world, John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11. He will be the principle power behind Antichrist and his murderous agenda described in the Second Seal. The Second Seal being broken, Antichrist now moves from a political power to a military strategist, where authority was first given to him, he now usurps “by taking peace from the earth.” Antichrist’s conquest began with peace, but he soon exchanges the arrowless bow for a sword. He will still be viewed by much of the world as a beneficent warrior who uses his might to bring order to a frenzied world. The red horse signifies bloody victories. Red signifies judgment, blood, and vengeance. He will consolidate the various nations and political factions who are willing to give him their allegiance to begin what Daniel describes as—a holy war. “He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god, he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him, and he will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price”—Daniel 11:39. Parceling out land for profit will finance his war campaign. His victories will be the result of the help he obtains from a foreign god. This foreign god will be his means of safety and protection. Literally, Satan will be the empowering force behind Antichrist’s domination but the acknowledgement of a pagan (heathen) god is identified for us in the Revelation as —”Mystery Babylon.” That he “takes peace from the earth,” we find He will pit men against one another, instigating and advocating butchery, violence, and murder in masses. Because of his political and religious power he will be able to accumulate vast wealth. He will gain control over the Western power block controlling most of the nations in the Middle East, then progressively the entire world. As the middle of the 70th week approaches he will destroy the false religious system that has carried him so that he may role unhindered (Rev. 17:16-17), then he will set himself up as God (Dan. 11:36–37; 2 Thess. 2:4, 11; Rev. 13:5-6). DROUGHT (Third Seal) “And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places”—Matt. 24:7 “When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ so I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and the wine”—Rev. 6:5-6. As the third seal is broken, the effects of war take there toll on the world. It was not uncommon for armies to burn and scorch crops as they conquered an enemies land in an attempt to gain control of it’s people by starvation. Food shortages will accompany famine in the world causing inflated food prices. A denarius represented a full days wage giving us a picture of how high inflation on food products will be. War and famine always go together, famine is the inevitable aftermath of war. To eat bread by weight” is a Jewish phrase indicating that food is scarce (Lev. 26:26)—(The Bible Exposition Commentary). What is being pictured here is that a man will have to work all day just to secure food enough for himself with nothing left for his family. And worse yet, a quart of wheat would be enough for one good meal, if he bought barley, it would be enough for three good meals.
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Food prices will be up to ten times as high as in normal times. The black horse represents sadness, want, and death. The rider (Antichrist) holds a pair of balances in his hand, indicating that his government has established control over the world’s economy. The scales indicate rationing pinpointing that Antichrist’s government has now established control over food. The world’s nations will now have to come to him. It is highly possible that he will stock pile food rations knowing well in advance the advantage it will give him to gain control over the nations of the world. For the one who controls the food supply, they could use it as a bargaining chip to complete world domination. There would be no greater weapon than to have control over the world’s economy to bring all the outlying nations to there knee’s causing a structural collapse of governments and creating a dependence upon himself. Of course, negotiations will be in order and he will determine the terms and conditions. The Antichrist now moves from being a political and military power to an economic power. With the third seal, we now approach the middle of the 70th week of Daniel. As we look at the fourth seal, his control over the world’s economy will only enhance his plan as he institutes his “mark” that no one may buy or sell without it. The first three seals described by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse and the Revelation detail the rise of Antichrist to power. First as a political power he will consolidate ten primary nations that will make up his ten nation confederation. With this ten nation alliance he will have the military capability to launch his campaign through war for world domination. Gaining control of food supplies gives him an economic advantage to further his efforts for the world’s recognition that he is the prominent figure. These three seals are signpost to inform the elect of God that Christ’s parousia (coming) is drawing near. Jesus’ teaching to his disciples concerning these first three seals is described by Jesus as “the beginning of birth pang.” The events described in the first three seals are mild in comparison to what is to follow in the next two seals. “All these are the beginning of sorrows”—Matt 24:8 Jesus also stress in Vs. 6 “See that you are not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” All these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. It would appear at times in the life of the believer that God sometimes is no where to found. Life sometimes seems to be like a wilderness, and we are left to fend for ourselves. That God allows his children to suffer at the hands of evil men is a hard thing to understand unless you see it from God’s point of view. Just hours before Jesus’ arrest and trial, he spoke hope to his disciples that we today carry with us. “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”—John 16:32-33. Though we may forsake Him, he will never forsake us. As He overcame so likewise we will overcome. He is our peace and hope, nothing can separate us from the love of God. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: For Your sake we are killed all day long, We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet in ALL THESE things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”—Romans 8:35-37.

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Chapter Three ~ Abomination of desolation DEATH (Fourth Seal) “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand)...For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved, but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened”—Matthew 24:9-15;21-22. “When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come and see,’ So I looked, and behold a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth”— Revelation 6:7-8. The breaking of the fourth seal marks the mid-point of the 70th week of Daniel. Up until this time Israel has been at rest for 3 1/2 years, secure from her enemies and the covenant with the Antichrist has stood to this point. Though he has been at war in an effort for world domination, Israel has been left unscathed. Today, Israel’s Temple does not exist. Before the events described in Matthew 24 and the Revelation can come to pass, the Temple will have to be rebuilt. In this hour it would seem to be an impossibility, but so was Israel’s reestablishment as a nation an impossibility, yet today she exist. When exactly the Temple will be rebuilt no one knows and the Scripture sheds no light on the subject other than the fact it will be rebuilt. It is likely, since Israel will be in the state of peace for the first 3 1/2 years of Daniel’s 70th week that the temple will be rebuilt during this period. The key to understanding the “Abomination of Desolation” is centered around the temple in Jerusalem. Before defining the Abomination of Desolation, several events are taking place behind the scenes that needs to be discussed so a full picture can be made of this terrible time that is going to come upon the world. The Removal of the Restrainer “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, only He who now retrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming”—2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; 7-9. The reference to “that Day” in verse 3 refers to what Paul mentioned in verse 1—
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”concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him.” That Day (Christ’s Parousia) cannot happen until several things occur first. First, there will be “the falling way (Apostasy)” of the church in general. Jesus describes this in Matthew 24:9-10—”Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” The verb “deliver” is the same one used of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus (Matthew 26:15) and supports the notion that this future deliverance unto death will be a similar betrayal of the Lord’s people. John MacArthur says, “Paradidomi (will deliver) has the basic meaning of giving over and was often used in a technical sense for arrest by the police or military.”—(The Popular encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy; Tim Lahaye, Ed Hindson.) Secondly, before Christ will come to rapture the church the man of sin (Antichrist) will be revealed i.e. his identity will become know by the world over all, by Israel who will flee into the wilderness to escape him, and by the church of God who will be persecuted along with Israel. Currently, and up until the braking of the forth seal the Antichrist’s identity is concealed, “that he may be revealed in his own time.” Two “persons” are mentioned here that are important to look at, “HE who now restrains,” and “HE that is revealed.” Another important issue is why the restrainer is taken out of the way. Those who hold to the pre-tribulation rapture view see the restrainer as the Holy Spirit who is removed from the earth by taking the church with Him in the Rapture prior to the 70th week of Daniel. However, this view is seriously flawed. One reason is because the removal of the restrainer is in the context of the Abomination of Desolation, an event that doesn’t take place until the middle of the 70th week of Daniel. Secondly, the restrainer cannot be the Holy Spirit because no where in Scripture does it imply that the Holy Spirit is a restrainer. Third, Scripture places the presence of the Holy Spirit here on earth after the Abomination of Desolation, during the Great Tribulation and persecution of God’s elect! Mark recorded the Olivet Discourse as did Matthew and we find that the Holy Spirit aids the believer in the hour of persecution by the Antichrist. “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit”—Mark 13:9-11. So if the Holy Spirit is not the restrainer, who is? Again, behind the scenes when the fourth seal is broken another event is taking place that will tie everything together, so follow with me just a little longer. In the middle of Daniels 70th week war brakes out in heaven and Satan and his angels are cast to the earth having great wrath. “And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, or was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him...Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time”—Revelation 12:7-9;12.
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Notice the mention of Michael, the archangel (vs.7). This is one of four places where he is mentioned in Scripture. In each mention, warfare is clearly implied. The transactions on earth affecting God’s people have a similarity to the conflict we see in heaven. Michael is described in the book of I Enoch as one of the holy angels, that is set over the best part of mankind and over chaos—Enoch 20:5. Daniel describes Michael as the great prince who stands watch over the sons of God’s people, particularly Israel. Daniel also describes action taken by Michael just prior to the Abomination of Desolation and the Great Tribulation. “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time, and at that time your people shall be deliverd, every one who is found written in the book”—Daniel 12:1. The meaning in the Hebrew for “stand up” is “to stand still, stop (moving or doing), cease.” Michael “who stands watch (guard) over the sons of your people,” must remove his protection before “there will be a time of trouble such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time.” This corresponds with our passage in 2 Thessalonians where we are told the restrainer, “is taken out of the way” before the lawless one is revealed. Michael then, is identified as the restrainer who after he and his angels cast Satan and his angels to the earth, stops, or stands still, no longer providing protection to God’s people giving Antichrist free course to persecute both Israel and the Church. The abomination of desolation After the restrainer (Michael) is taken out of the way, Antichrist will enter the Temple in Jerusalem and desecrate it by stopping the daily sacrifices, erect a stature of a false god within the temple and proclaim himself God. It is a violation of the ritual purity of the Jewish Temple, a defilement. It is to the Jewish people a criminal act that will render the Temple unfit for the service of God. The abomination of desolation is the climax of Daniels 70th week and will signal the intervention of God. As we will soon see, the fourth seal asks for it and the fifth seal demands it. Matthew and Mark place the abomination of desolation in the time when “the end will come”—Matthew 24:14. It separates the period of “the Great Tribulation” from the Day of the Lord’s Wrath. This is the single event that will manifest the Antichrist, “the man of lawlessness,” “the son of perdition,” in his usurpation of God’s place in the Temple. This act will reveal not only the Antichrist but also “the lie” that will mark his followers and certify them in the judgment that will occur at the parousia (coming) of Christ. “He (the second beast; false prophet) deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as may as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, that no one may but or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666”—Rev. 13:14-18. The mark of the beast will be the Antichrist’s mark identifying those who will be citizens of
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his kingdom. A person will be required to bear on their forehead or right hand one of three identifications related to the name of Antichrist; 1. the mark, 2. the name of the beast, or 3. the number of his name. The forehead represents our will, our volition, the hand represents our activities. The mark will be a visible identification imprinted on people world wide. Those who do not comply can neither buy or sell but will be put to death. The mark will be a matter of allegiance and will be the dividing line between those who stay true to the name of Jesus and those who believe the lie. The great tribulation As the decree is made that all men must receive the mark on their forehead or right hand, with the penalty of death to those who do not comply, God in his providential care, not desiring and any perish, will send three angels, one will have the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—Rev. 14:6-7. The second will proclaim the destruction of Babylon and the third will warn mankind of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation should anyone worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark on his forehead or on his hand—Rev. 14:9-11. What follows the proclamation of the three angels is a clear description of the Great Tribulation against the saints of God who will die for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on’ Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them”—Rev. 14:12-13. Jesus said “when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes...For there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be”—Matthew 24:15-18;21. The abomination of desolation will ignite a holocaust of epic proportions. Not even the holocaust of Nazi Germany will be able to be compared to it. This tribulation will be a global event and will spread to all nations as Jews and Christians alike will be put to death. Here are several reasons why I believe that the Church will enter the 70th week of Daniel and suffer persecution at the hands of Antichrist. The Great Tribulation is a shortened period of time within the 70th week of Daniel that will effect both, National Israel and the Elect of God (The Church)—Matthew 24:15-22. The Rapture of the Church is outlined by Jesus in Matthew 24:27-31, and in the sequence of events given by the Lord, his coming to gather together the Church is immediately AFTER the tribulation—Matt. 24:29. The Great Tribulation is contributed to the Wrath of Satan, not the Wrath of God, when Satan is cast to the earth with his angels. A “Woe” is pronounce to the earth in connection with his coming. Following the sequence given in the Revelation, the Dragon (Satan) persecutes the woman (Israel) who escapes him by fleeing into the wilderness where she is helped and hidden for 3 1/2 years. The dragon being enraged with the women (Israel) then makes war with the “rest of her offspring (The Church) who keep
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the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”—Revelation 12:717. Revelation 13:5-10 outlines the abomination of desolation when the beast opens his mouth in blasphemy against God, blasphemes His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. Antichrist is granted power to make war with the saints and to overcome them. At this conjecture, Antichrist has authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation. This time of great persecution is described by John as the “patience and the faith of the saints.” See Daniel 7:21 The Greek word translated tribulation is “thlipsis,” and is described as pressure, oppression, affliction, distress, and straits. It is the same word used in both Matthew 24:9,21,29 and in Revelation 7:14 referring to the great tribulation of God’s elect. Another word used interchangeably is “persecution” as is done in Acts 11:19—”Now those who were scattered after the persecution-(thlipsis) that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.” This being the case, it is not a violation to the Word of God in light of all the text we have studied thus far to identify the “great tribulation” as the “great persecution” considering how the word thlipsis is used and its association to the context of Matthew chapter 24. The time of tribulation is not a persecution against the world in general, but a time of persecution targeted specifically against National Israel and the Church, the elect of God. The seven year tribulation period is a generic term that pretribulationist use to describe what the Word of God calls the 70th week of Daniel. To call the seventieth week the tribulation period is unwarranted and unbiblical. The 70th week of Daniel is broken into three parts — The first 3 1/2 years is noted in Matthew 24:4-8 as the beginning of birth pangs. It is initiated when Antichrist signs a covenant of protection with Israel. What marks the first half of Daniels 70th week is the first three seals of Revelation 6:1-6. In the forth seal, Antichrist brakes the covenant with Israel which entails a period of severe persecution. First against National Israel followed by the Elect, the Church of God. This is the hard labor, this persecution will be unparallel to any in the history of the world. Jesus described it in Matthew 24:9-10—”Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” Anyone claiming the name of Jesus will be marked for death, world wide. The third division is identified by Scripture as the day of the Lord. After the tribulation, signs in the sun, moon and stars will be manifest initiating the parousia (coming) of Christ to deliver/rapture his church. This event cuts short the great persecution by Christ’s appearing—Matt. 24:22 leading right into the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord is the final expression of God’s wrath beginning with the opening of the seventh seal of Revelation 8:1. Now that we have a backdrop of the events associated with the breaking of the fourth seal we turn to the forth rider of the apocalypse. This is the first seal where the rider is identified by name—”So I looked, and behold a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth”—Revelation 6:8. The term “Death and Hades” is only used four times in the New Testament, all in the Revelation —1:18; 6:8; 20:13; 20:14. In two of the texts it refers to the temporary abode of the souls of the wicked before they are judged and thrown into the lake of fire at the Great White Throne Judgment. The third reference (20:14) is referring to the people who have been kept there, awaiting the judgment of God. From the perspective of the fourth seal, “Death and Hades” is a reference to
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the consequences of the wrong choice that most will make when the Antichrist takes his seat in the Temple in Jerusalem and demands the worship of the world instituting his mark upon all men. Those who take the mark of Antichrist, or worships his image are given a twofold condemnation. Physical ‘Death’ when they face the Wrath of God that is about to come and ’Hades,’ where they will be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the lake of fire which is the second death. Antichrist will be death personified, he is —”The beast that was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition (destruction)—Rev. 17:8. Three times the word “perdition” is allocated to him —Rev. 17:8,11; 2 Thess. 2:3. Perdition is translated from the Greek word apoleia meaning destruction; destroying, utter destruction. This word is from the root Greek word Apollyon who in the Revelation is identified as the angel of the bottomless pit (Satan), the angel-prince of the infernal regions, the minister of death and the author of havoc on earth—Rev. 9:11 (Strong, J. 1996. The exhaustive concordance of the Bible., Woodside Bible Fellowship.: Ontario). The Antichrist, having the name “Death” is the spawn of Satan and is the minister of death and the instigator of havoc on the earth for his power and authority is from Satan—Rev. 13:2,4; 2 Thess. 2:9-10; Dan. 8:24. This rider is given power over a forth of the earth, to kill. The word power is exousia in the Greek and means “liberty to do as one pleases.” The prophet Daniel gives startling insight to Antichrist’s authority and the timing of the Abomination of Desolation, his self exaltation and persecution of God’s elect. “Then the king shall do according to his own will, he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done”—Daniel 11:36. He will do according to his own will. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god. He will blaspheme God himself. He shall prosper till the wrath (the wrath of Satan and the persecution of God’s elect) has been accomplished. Some teach that Antichrist’s power over a forth part of the earth is not referring to a geographical location. I am in agreement with this thought since at the breaking of the fourth seal when he persecutes the Church, authority has already been given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation—Rev. 13:7. Every nation, even America if she is still standing at this time. Statistics have been compiled showing the percentage of the world’s population that consist of Judeo-Christian, Protestants, Orthodox, and other sects that claim the name of Christ make up almost 25 percent of the world’s population. If indeed, the fourth seal is referring to a fourth of mankind, and in light of all the Scriptural evidence we have seen, 1/4th of all people who are alive will die. The fact that supports this thought is that he is given power over a fourth part of the earth to KILL with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beast of the earth. More evidence is given in the opening of the fifth seal that those being persecuted and killed in the fourth seal are indeed, believers.

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V. Cry of the Martyrs (Fifth Seal) “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another”—Matthew 24:9-10 “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ The a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed”— Revelation 6:9-11. The fifth seal initiates a series of seals that are unlike the first four. The horses and riders who initiated events is now gone. The fact that death reign’s over “a fourth of the earth” in the forth seal makes the fifth seal a probable result. The relationship between the fifth, sixth, and seventh seals is the wrath of God: The fifth seal demands it; The sixth seal announces it; and the seventh seal depicts it (Sola Scriptura, Revelation Commentary). The cause behind the souls who had been slain during the fourth seal was their stand on the Word of God and the testimony which they held. Because of the Word of God concerns truth. These martyred saints died for the truth they could not deny. Because of the testimony which they held too shows they maintained there faith and continued to witness to the fact that Jesus is Lord. As noted earlier, in Marks account of the Olivet Discourse the believers who are arrested are brought before rulers and kings for Jesus’ name sake and for a testimony to them. We find that heavens angels and earths saints are working in consensus to enounce the Gospel to all nations—Mark 13:9-10; Revelation 14:6-11. These souls overcame the Antichrist by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death— Revelation 12:11. This same group of martyrs are seen later in Revelation standing on a sea of glass singing the song of Moses and the song of the lamb. “And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: ’Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested”—Rev. 15:2-4. They were told to rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. The persecution that started in the fourth seal runs over into the fifth seal. This parallels the Olivet Discourse—”they will deliver you up to tribulation/persecution and kill you”—Matt 24:9. Everything in the language ties the seals to the Olivet Discourse, this is why the believer is “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus
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Christ”—Titus 2:13. The blessed hope is in the deliverance out from the midst of the wrath of Satan and persecution of Antichrist when Christ appears out of the blackened sky in power and glory to deliver his church and begin the Judgments connected with the Day of the Lord!

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Chapter Four ~ The Sign of the End of the age COSMIC DISTURBANCE (Sixth Seal) “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken”—Matthew 24:29 “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and ever free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rock of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’”—Revelation 6:12-17 The Sign that announces the return of Christ to rapture the church and the arrival of the Wrath of God is given in the form of earthly and cosmic disturbances unparalleled in human history. The Sun becomes black, the moon like blood, and the stars fall from heaven. There is a great earthquake, this is a great shaking, not of a continent but of the entire earth. So much so that “every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” What an awesome spectacle of God’s power! What a dreadful display of God’s kindled anger! The Antichrist’s usurpation of God’s rightful place in the Temple, his persecution God’s elect, the acceptance of the mark of the beast by the nations of men will not go unanswered. God’s intervention has been aroused by the cry of the martyrs and He answers by shaking the earth and by showing signs in the heavens, both announcing His Wrath has come. Luke gives details as to the earthly and cosmic disturbances that occur just prior to the return of Jesus. “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth…”—Luke 21:2526b Distress of nations with perplexity, the word “distress” in the Greek illustrates a “narrowing,” like a wide path narrowing to a smaller path becoming more difficult to walk. Perplexity is identified as consternation. The nations of the earth will become confused and alarmed, they will be dismayed. These earthly and cosmic disturbances will cause mass confusion and terror among all those who are recipients of the impending judgment of God. The seas and waves roaring depict Tsunami’s, the result of earthquakes which causes extensive damage to islands and coastlines. Hurricanes probably will intensify as nature itself begins to come apart at the seams. Men’s hearts will fail because of the fear and expectation of those things which are coming on the earth. The disturbing phenomena preceding the Lord’s return will strike terror in the hearts of the impenitent but will be a source of hope and expectation to the redeemed—”Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near”—Luke 21:28. This is God’s last call, his last ditch effort to save any who have not received the mark of the beast and whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. It was proclaimed by Peter on
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the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit arrived as promised, empowering and birthing the church beginning the age of Grace. “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath, blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”—Acts 2:14-21. Even in the midst of God’s furious anger he shows mercy. He will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath...That whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. But as I said, this is His last call, once the Sign of Christ’s coming is given and Jesus collects his church from the earth the door will be shut. None but Israel will have the hope of redemption as God pours out his omnipotent Wrath upon the wicked remaining. Cosmic Disturbance motif We find that the cosmic disturbance is a motif, i.e. a recurring theme in both the Old and New Testaments providing valuable information concerning the timing of the Day of the Lord, thus also, the Rapture. Sequential information is given when tracing key passages containing the cosmic disturbance providing us with a clearer picture of its timing and relationship to the Rapture and the Day of the Lord. When considering these key passages, evidence is given that the cosmic disturbance is pivotal in relationship to the Great Tribulation and the parousia (coming) of Christ. \ 1. The Cosmic Disturbance is prior to the Day of the Lord ~ Joel 2:30-31 The cosmic disturbance described by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse is central to the Great Tribulation, the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Day of the Lord. It stands as the water shed between the Great Tribulation and the return of Jesus Christ to rapture the church. It is the signpost announcing the end of the age as God Himself Judges humanity for its evil implemented by the trumpet and bowl judgments. As the sign of the end of the age is given, the earth and the universe itself will become blackened. No one on the face of the earth at this time can conclude anything other than the fact that the God of heaven and earth is coming in wrath, particularly when the Lamb is seen descending from heaven! But this sign occurs “before” the Day of the Lord comes and it is not part of the eschatological wrath of God. In relationship to this event, Joel gives an important time marker clearly placing this event before the day of the Lord. “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord”—Joel 2:30-31
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This was confirmed by Peter on the Day of Pentecost when they were in the upper room and the Holy Spirit was given. In Peters address to the people witnessing this event he gave reference to the cosmic disturbance. A study of the entire content of Peter’s message to the thousands gathering, he sums up the entire church age quoting Joel by proclaiming it was Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection that set in motion the events described by Joel. The resurrection of Jesus Christ ignited the ear of the Church from Pentecost to the return of Christ. Joel prophesied that this present age would end amidst Divine Judgment, Jesus is the Lord who will return in judgment and it is He whom people must now call upon in repentance and faith. That Peter included the SIGN of the end of the age in his message to the people only certifies the church’s presence on the earth during this great climatic event. Acts 2:19-20 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.” The cosmic disturbance then becomes a spatial extension, it is a marker, the means by which one event makes another event possible. In this case, the Day of the Lord is contingent upon the cosmic disturbance. Each event is dependent upon the other as a string of events provisional to each other. The word “before” represents the “front side” of God’s approaching judgment but itself is not part of the eschatological Wrath of God. Wonders are forerunners of God’s judgment and are patterned after the plagues God brought upon Egypt at the time of Israel’s deliverance (Jack W. Hayford, Litt.D. Spirit filled Life Bible). We see this same pattern being played out in the Olivet Discourse. The Earthly and Cosmic Disturbances signal both the Day of the Lord and the return of Jesus Christ to deliver his Elect out from the midst of great persecution. All this may seem technical and hard to understand but it is not, the cosmic disturbance is simply a Divine response to the Great Persecution (tribulation) that is taking place on the earth by the hand of the antichrist. When I look at the church today I see it in a state of complacency, and very lethargic. The church today is lazy and indifferent, not only to the world around it, but also to itself. Denominational lines, the multiplicity of doctrines serve as the agents which keep the church divided. Worldliness is common place in the church today, both in deed and thought. Though God is not the instigator of the Tribulation it still falls under His permissive will for it is Christ Himself who opens the seals. The persecution by the antichrist against the elect of God will purify the true bond servants of Jesus Christ (Dan. 12:712) and separate the wheat from the tares (Matt 13:37-43) preparing the church for Christ’s return.

2. The Cosmic Disturbance is Post-Tribulationial ~ Matthew 24:29 When I say the cosmic disturbance is “post-trib,” that does not mean that it occurs at the end of Daniel’s Seventieth Week. When understood in light of Matthew 24:29, it is indeed posttribulationial. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
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The word “after” is a marker of association, for it is combined with the Great Tribulation, abruptly bring the tribulation to a close. For clarification, a marker is a sign that indicates the position or presence of something, i.e. the cosmic disturbance serves as a marker/sign to the Coming of Christ to rapture the church, which in turn, initiates the Day of the Lord’s Wrath. The cosmic disturbance, the parousia of Christ, and the Day of the Lord are three back-to-back events persecuted in a very short period of time. If you look closely at the Olivet Discourse the Great Tribulation is “cut short” ~ Vs. 22. The phrase “cut short” means to curtail, or to amputate. Luke 21:25-28 admonishes the believer that when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. The sign of the end of the age is then, immediately after the great tribulation, but prior to the Day of the Lord and is distinct and undeniable in itself. It will be strong enough, large enough and definite enough to be noticed by the entire world, for men will seek death as a means of escaping the terrible Day of His Wrath. There are six passages of Scripture that converge on common ground that the cosmic disturbance is the precursor to the Day of the Lord and conforms seamlessly with the chronology of Matthew 24—Isa. 13:10; Exek. 32:7-8; Joel 2:31; Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24-25; Luke 21:25. Joel describes the Cosmic Disturbances as the Lord roaring from Zion. “The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel”—Joel 3:15-16. The Lord’s “roar” will be as the roar of an army going into battle. It is a roaring against the enemies of God’s people. It is only to God’s enemies that He is terrible and fearful, but to the people who respond to His call He is their shelter and strength.

3. Encountering the Cosmic Disturbance ~ Revelation 6:12-17

The Revelation provides another clear time marker to this momentous event. Revelations places this event within the sixth seal and is the most descriptive of all cosmic disturbance texts. When the sixth seal is broken the heavens and the earth will go into convulsions. The physical changes on this earth will be so momentous and terrifying that men will cry out for the rocks and mountains to fall on them to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb of God! It is the decree from heaven that the time of God’s Wrath has come and God will punish the world for it’s evil. “Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger. To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it. For the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine. I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place in the wrath of the Lord of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger”—Isaiah 13:9-13. Isaiah describes the day of the Lord as a time of universal humiliation. In contrast, God will
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display the splendor of His majesty, and the population will flee in terror to caves for protection. The timing and terminology of Isaiah 2:20-21 are strikingly similar to the description of the sixth seal in Revelation 6:16-17. “In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made, each for himself to worship, to the moles and bats, to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the crags of the rugged rocks, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.” At this conjecture, no human being, no matter how ungodly and skeptical will fail to realize that God Almighty is about to take full control of His creation and render final judgment against evil. When the sixth seal is opened several climatic events take place. There is a “great earthquake,” so large that every mountain and island is moved out of its place. The Sun becomes b lack. The moon becomes like blood. The stars fall into the earth (possible meteors or asteroids). The sky recedes like a scroll. (Some believe this is nuclear). Personally, I believe this is the coming of Christ when He is seen in the clouds of the sky described in the Olivet Discourse. Notice what the world will do as a response to this climatic event. They hide themselves in the caves and rocks of the mountains, Why?

“For the great Day of His Wrath has come”

When all the texts surrounding the cosmic disturbance is carefully considered, that is, Luke 21, Matthew 24, Acts 2, Revelation 6 with the O. T. scriptures, consistency is discovered. The cosmic disturbance is before the Day of the Lord, and immediately after the Great Tribulation. It announces the Day of God’s Wrath and the world will respond with panic, terror, and fear. It announces the Coming (parousia) of Jesus Christ and the believer will respond with expectancy, lifting up their heads in anticipation of His appearing. When a comparison of the Seals and the Olivet Discourse is made, they agree perfectly with each other, and they should, because Jesus is the author of both. In both, the persecution and martyrdom of Christians will be followed by the Cosmic Disturbance. The fifth Seal reveals the martyred saints still seeing the wrath of God as yet future. They were asking Him “How Long?, when will you judge and avenge our blood?” They were told to wait a little longer, there were still more martyrdom to come. The relationship between the fifth, sixth, and seventh seals is the wrath of God. The fifth demands it, the sixth announces it, and the seventh depicts it. Between the Sixth and Seventh seal we find a relatively short period of time, an interlude which is still part of the eschatological sequence given in the Revelation. In it, John gives a description of 144,000 Jews from every tribe of Israel being sealed with the seal of God on their foreheads. There is a second group of people that John describes as standing before the throne of God ~ Rev. 7:9-17. It is here where we will find the rapture of the Church for “these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation” ~ Vs.14. By now you might be asking, “How do you know
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that these mentioned here are indeed the Church?” The answer is easy, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 clearly states that at the parousia (coming) of Christ, Jesus will bring all them that have died with Him, the dead will rise first, then those who are alive and remain (“remain” is also translated “survive”) will be caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. That means that every man, women, and child who has trusted in Jesus since His resurrection will be there. Those who are alive when the rapture takes place will be tribulation saints along with all those who have died previously.

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Chapter Five ~ The sign of Christ’s coming “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”—Matthew 24:30-31 “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying; “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen”—Revelation 7:9-12. Up to this point we have seen the rise of Antichrist depicted in the first three seals. Then we moved to the forth and fifth seals and saw the great persecution of God’s people, National Israel, and His church as Antichrist enters the Temple in Jerusalem proclaiming himself God, demanding that all men everywhere worship his image and receive his mark. Between the Sixth and Seventh Seal we find a relatively short period of time between the earthly and heavenly disturbances of the sixth seal and what follows in the opening of the Seventh Seal. An Interlude which is still part of the eschatological sequence given in the Revelation. This is indicated by John’s statement, “After these things” where he gives a description of 144,000 Jews, 12,000 from every tribe of Israel being sealed with the seal of God for protection during the Day of the Lords Wrath—Rev. 7:1-8. Then John shifts to a heavenly scene where he sees a great multitude which no one could number from all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb crying out with a loud voice in worship to God. Here we see just after the braking of the sixth seal and the earthly and cosmic disturbances the church, standing before God and before the Lamb in heaven. “A great multitude” are all the redeemed out of all people groups throughout the church age. And they have bodies! Their resurrection bodies! They are clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. Along with this great multitude are those who have “come out” of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb! “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ’Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ And I said to him, Sir, you know. So he said to me, these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes”—Revelation 7:13-17.

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“Ones coming out” is a present participle meaning the event is presently taking place. I see two people groups being described here. One group are all believers throughout the church age. The other group are those who have come out of the great tribulation, and here is how I got there. The great multitude was such a large throng of people that they could not be numbered (Rev. 7:9). The martyrs of the Great Tribulation are numbered and the Word of God says so. In the fifth seal, the cry of the martyrs was to God for his vengeance to fall upon those who dwell on the earth. They were given white robes and told that they should “rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.” This is further evidenced in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. When Jesus returns and the church is “caught up” into the clouds, the text states that those who have died before his return “God will bring with Him Vs.14.” Then the dead will rise first. This is the “great multitude” described in Revelation 7. After the dead are raised, then “we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” Vs.16-17. Those who are alive are the tribulation believers who have endured until the end—Matt 24:14, they are the ones who come out of the great tribulation. The word “remain” in the Strong’s Concordance is translated “to survive.” They are the survivors of the Great Tribulation and in Revelation chapter 7 no indication is given that they are martyr’s, but survivors. Both of these people groups receive their resurrected bodies at the Rapture. The martyr’s of the Great Tribulation don’t receive there resurrected bodies until the first day of the Millennium—Revelation 20:4. What is being described by John in Revelation chapter 7:9-17 is the conclusion of Jesus’ description in Matthew 24:29-31. Immediately after the tribulation there will be earthly and cosmic disturbances. The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be diminished. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and Jesus will be seen in the clouds of the sky. The word “and” in Vs. 31 is a word linking two or more events that must occur together. It’s a conjunction used to indicate an additional situation. As a result of Christ’s appearing in the clouds of heaven, connected to His appearing is a “gathering together of His elect,” in the sky, in the clouds, where Jesus is. There is no other way the text can be interpreted. The language is clearly describing the Second Advent of Jesus Christ to rapture the church. The Greek word parousia is translated “coming” in our English bibles and is used four times by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse—Matt. 24:3,27,37,39. Parousia is the keystone on which all other rapture passages are built upon. It is the heartbeat of New Testament prophecy concerning the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. The word is central to Christ’s coming to rapture the church. It is the technical term signifying the second coming of Jesus and was the official term use for a visit by a person of high rank, especially a king. It was an arrival that included a permanent presence from that coming onward. Parousia is a noun which carries the sense of an active presence, or a continual presence. The New Testament teaches one (single) parousia of Christ which includes different activities occurring in secession of one another i.e. the gathering together of the elect (rapture), the Wrath of God upon those who remain (Day of the Lord), the final battle of Armageddon, the salvation of Israel, and the establishment of the Millenial kingdom of Christ. The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon describes the parousia of Christ as “the future visible return from heaven of Jesus, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God.” Parousia marks the end of the age (Matt 24:3,14) and gives prominence to the beginning of a
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new era, the Day of the Lord. It is the pivot point between the conclusion of the Church age and the Day of the Lord’s Wrath when God punishes mankind with His fiery judgment. The sign of Christ’s coming was described by Him in Matthew 24:27—”For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming (parousia) of the Son of Man be.” His appearing is likened to lighting flashing across the sky. Just like verses 30-31, Jesus associates his coming with a “gathering together” illustrating it with eagles gathering around a carcass— ”For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together”—Matt 24:28. Visible Rapture! One of the biggest misconceptions that has swept the church off its feet is the idea that there is a secret rapture. The concept of people driving their car, or a pilot flying a plane and then suddenly disappearing without a trace is unbiblical. It fosters a false sense of security, leaving the Christian complacent and unreflective to the dangers described by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse. Matthew 24:27-30 illustrates the Rapture as not only a global event, but visible! For the unbeliever, this day will overtake them suddenly—2 Peter 3:3-7, it will be a bolt from the blue. The traumatic response from the world as the earth and heavens are plunged into darkness by the sign of the end of the age only gives way to total despair when they see the sign of the Son of Man appearing in the sky. “then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they WILL SEE the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”—Matthew 24:30. The Lord’s second coming at the end of the Great Tribulation will be a great public event, with every eye seeing Him. His Second Coming will be as visible and conspicuous as the lighting that flashes across the sky and the nations will tremble at his approach. Comparing Scripture with Scripture, Revelation 1:7 express the same response from the world as Christ descends from heaven and appears in the clouds of the sky. “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” In Matthew 24:30, the word “on” is a present participle of the Greek preposition “epi” which can also be rendered “upon.” The word “heaven” can be rendered “air” or “sky.” The picture being painted here is at the appearance of Christ He is seen “upon” the clouds of the sky. There is nothing in the text that gives the idea that He descends to the earth itself, rather he is seen in the clouds. Matthew 24:27 portrays His appearing in the context of “parousia.” The word parousia simply is translated “presence,” from that coming onward. When Jesus appears upon the clouds of the sky “...He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”—Matthew 24:31. Jesus uses vivid, prophetic language to describe His glorious return. It is crystal clear that Jesus is describing the Rapture of the Church. There is a great sound of a trumpet. This is the same trumpet described in 1 Corinthians 15:52b “...For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” Again, letting Scripture interpret Scripture, we turn yet to another section that gives the same description as did Jesus. “...for the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…”—1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Comparing all three texts, we see the sounding of the trumpet
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announcing Christ’s arrival, hardly an invisible event! The Greek word for “gather together” is epi-sunago, and means to gather together besides ones self, to bring together to others already assembled. The preposition “epi” means “on or upon” just as epidermis refers to the top layer of one’s skin. When this preposition is added to the verb sunago or to the noun synagogue, it gives an upward direction to the gathering. Mark in his gospel account of the Olivet Discourse describes this event, but what Mark reveals is startling. Mark provides the point of origin following up with the destination of the subjects at hand. “And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of heaven”—Mark 13:27. If this were talking about the battle of Armageddon as some contend, it would not make sense since the gathering of the nations to this event is on the earth (Rev. 16:14-16; 19:11-21.) The gathering that both Matthew and Mark describe is a catching up and a gathering together in the clouds. One important element to Marks description is this event is global, “from the farthest part of the earth” and there is nothing invisible about it. This is describing people who are all over the earth. Then Mark gives their destination, “...to the farthest part of heaven.” Mark uses the exact same language, describing the exact same event, only he clarifies it by illustrating both the position of the elect (earth bound) followed by the objective of the angels to assemble them in the sky, where Jesus is, in the clouds. Paul describes this event and makes it unmistakably clear he is talking about the Rapture. Paul also connects the rapture to the parousia (coming) of Christ. “Now brethren, concerning the coming (parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him…”—2 Thessalonians 2:1. Just as Jesus was talking to his Disciples (who became the Apostles and foundation of His Church), Paul is talking to the Gentile Church, not the Jewish community. If the Olivet Discourse pertained strictly to Israel, there would be no need to give explanation to the Chruch concerning the parousia of Christ or the “gathering together” as Paul describes in the text above. The primary reason for Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is to correct error. The Thessalonians believed the resurrection had already past. In essence, they thought they missed the Rapture and thought the Day of the Lord was upon them. Paul gives clarification to this error by giving certain indicators, there would be a great apostasy first including the emergence of the Antichrist—Vs.2-3. Neither the parousia of Christ or the Rapture would occur until what Paul described in verses two and three comes to pass. Jesus taught in Matthew 24:9-12 that many will be offended and betray one another, and hate one another. Lawlessness will be the presides of the day, peoples love for Christ will grow cold and indifferent. Like Jesus, Paul establishes the connection of the (parousia) of Christ with “our gathering together” to Him. Paul uses the Greek noun “epi-sunagoge,” to describe the assembling of the church in the clouds. Sunago, the word Jesus used in the Olivet discourse is the root verb from which the noun sunagoge (synagogue) is derived. Synagogue means a “gathering place,” or “a gathering together in one place” where people assemble together. They are both saying the same thing, a taking up and bringing together to one place. We find then continuity pertaining to the parousia of Christ and the gathering together of the Church. Equally important is the “who” of this great gathering! As I previously stated, many want to make Matthew 24 applicable to Israel only. The Olivet Discourse starts at Matthew 24:1 and
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runs through to Matthew 25:46. Two verses which I will list will settle any doubts one may have concerning Christ’s teaching in chapter 24 about Daniels Seventieth Week, the Abomination of Desolation, the persecution of God’s Elect, and the Rapture of the Church. Both are within the context of the Olivet Discourse. Those of the pretribulation camp teach the “gathering together” mentioned in 24:31 is the gathering of the Nations at Armageddon, the Great Battle of God when Christ physically returns to the earth. A careful look at the text will expel that theory, they are as follows:

Matthew 24:31 “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 25:31-32 When the Son of Man comes (erchomai) in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” Comparing these verses together it becomes very apparent Jesus is talking about two different people groups in two different time frames and two different places. If Matthew 24:31 were talking about the Battle of Armageddon it would have stated that fact. Several points need to be considered when examining these two texts. First, Matt. 24:31 affirms “He will send His angels,” to do the gathering. In the Greek the word “send” is rendered, He will “send out” His angels, implying a particular purpose—to gather together. In Matt. 25:31 When Christ comes in his glory “and all the holy angels with Him” there is a marker of association given here. There is no action taken by the angels, they are simply with him as spectators. In Matt. 24:31 the Greek word is “episunago,” which has been discussed. It is a taking up and assembling together to oneself. This gives the cogitation that the ones being assembled are the object of great importance to Jesus. In Matt. 25:32 the word “gathered” is simply “sunago.” This gathering is not unto Jesus as our text in chapter 24 describes but a gathering before Him. They are in His presence, opposite to Him, that is, in front of Him, facing Him. Then He separate’s them “as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” There also are two different places being described to the gathering. In Matt. 24:31 they are gathered from the earth to the sky, “from one end of the sky to the other.” This event is taking place in the air, where Christ is at this peculiar moment. In Matt. 25:31 Christ is sitting on “the throne of His glory.” This event is taking place on the earth and refers to his Millennial Throne where His sits as both King and Judge.

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There also are two different people groups described. In Matt. 24:31 it is the “Elect” being gathered unto Him. In Matt. 25:32 it is the “Nations” being gathered before Him.

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Chapter Six ~ Rapture Initiates Wrath! The two identifiable components that any student of God’s Word should look for in any doctrinal study is continuity and consistency. They are the building blocks to discovering truth. That’s what the prewrath rapture does, it gives an uninterrupted harmony that no other end time doctrine presents. It is built on a face value method of interpretation, taking the Word of God literally. We have already examined the many variables and aspects of the parousia of the Lord as it is related to the Rapture of the Church. Many of the various Scripture references we have investigated we will revisit building upon the truth we have already discovered. As has already been stated, Matthew 24 gives us a sequence of events Jesus describes will occur in Daniels Seventieth Week. After Jesus has removed the Elect from the earth and gathered His Church to meet him in the air, the next event to transpire will be the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is an undesignated period of time, an appointed day when God will Judge the world in righteousness by the Man (Jesus Christ) whom He has ordained—Acts 17:31. It begins within the second half of Daniels Seventieth Week and will run its course climaxing with the battle of Armageddon when Christ physically returns to the earth and sits upon His Millennial Throne. What Scripture teaches is that the Rapture Initiates the Wrath of God, on the same day! Comparing Matthew 24:29-31 with the events recorded in the Revelation, the sixth seal gives an accurate depiction of the Cosmic Disturbances Jesus described in the Olivet Discourse—Revelation 6:12-17. Revelations chapter seven opens up with, “After these things” and describes the sealing of the 144,000 Jews from every tribe of Israel. By this time the parousia of Christ has commenced, the Church has been raptured and we find a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands—Rev. 7:9-10. Here we find the Church standing before God worshipping. What I want to draw your attention to is the action taken by the angels in conjunction with the texts listed above. Matthew 24:31 depicts the angels being sent by Jesus to gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. In Matthew 24:31 and Mark 13:27 the “four winds” stand for the four cardinal points of the compass. In Revelation 7:1 after the sixth seal has been broken and the events described therein have come to pass, four angels are standing at the four corners of the earth “holding the four winds” of the earth—Rev.7:1. The Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words states that the context signifies that this event is connected with the execution of divine judgment. At the parousia of Christ, the angels will gather together God’s elect from the four winds simultaneously hold back these winds from blowing on the earth, an act that is the start of God’s Wrath. It is the deep breath before God’s Wrath plummets, before the winds of judgment are released upon the nations of men. In Revelation 6:17 those left upon the earth acknowledge “the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” This is the calm before the storm, “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour”—Rev. 8:1. It is here, after the gathering together of the elect of God we find the first action taken connected with the Divine Wrath of God—”For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” Robert Van Kampen in his book (The Rapture Question Answered) is quoted saying “If the plain sense makes sense, you have the right sense,” and here it makes complete sense, the Rapture Initiates Wrath! Jesus, addressing the Pharisees question of when the kingdom of God would come taught
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that the Rapture of the Church and the Day of the Lord’s Wrath are two back to back events that will occur on the same day using Noah and Lot as examples. “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man. They ate, they drank, they married wives, and were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed—Luke 17:26-30. In the Olivet Discourse, the Lord followed up with this same example of Noah with his disciples. “But as the days of Noah before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming (parousia) of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field, one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill, one will be taken and the other left”—Matthew 24:37-41. With the account of Lot—”but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.” One thing is certain, God’s people are promised they will never see nor experience His Wrath—1 Thessalonians 1:10; Romans 5:9. God cannot do anything in the way of judgment until His people are secured from his Wrath. We see this with Lot, the angels who were sent to Sodom to destroy it insisted Lot leave and go to another city, they hastened him away, they could not judge Sodom until he was safely out of harms way. “Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens”—Genesis 19:22-24. So, it will be at the parousia of Christ, he will first secure His church by way of Rapture, afterwards the Wrath of God will fall upon the ungodly who remain—the Rapture Initiates Wrath, on the same day! In the account of Noah we find God instructing Noah to “Enter the ark, you and all your household; for you alone I have seen to be righteous before me in this time. You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female...for after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made”— Genesis 7:1-2,4 NASB. Those who want to keep the Church out of Daniels Seventieth Week appeal to the phrase, “after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth,” implying that Noah entered the ark seven days prior to the flood. There argument is that the seven days typify the seven years of Daniels Seventieth Week, the Rapture, in there interpretation occurs before the last prophetic Week of Daniel begins. Looking at this text alone without studying the entire context would led one to believe that. And if that is the case then Jesus didn’t have his facts right because he clearly said in two separate accounts that the flood came “on the day” that Noah entered the ark. This my friend would make Jesus wrong and His teaching would be discredited. Let me assure you, Jesus was not wrong! Examining the context farther will clear up the apparent contradiction the Pretribulationist impose. “Inn the year 600 of Noah’s life, in the seventeenth day of the second month, that same
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day all the fountains of the deep were broken up and burst forth, and the windows and floodgates of the heavens were opened. And it rained upon the earth forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah and Shem, Ham, Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, went into the ark—Genesis 7:1113 AMP. The context is in complete agreement with Jesus’ teaching in the Olivet Discourse. On the very same day Noah and his family entered the ark God’s Wrath fell in the form of a flood. When God gave Noah the command to enter the ark seven days earlier, Noah did all that the Lord commanded him. He spent the next seven days bring the animals into the ark in anticipation of the flood after which he and his family entered the ark themselves on the seventh day, the day of the flood. By Jesus using the example of Noah in correlation with His parousia He is again giving the timing of both the Rapture and the Day of the Lord. He also is placing the Rapture within the time frame of Daniels Seventieth Week, not outside of it. That Pretribulationist adamantly teach that Noah entered the ark seven days before the flood came to prove there concept of the imminent return of Christ, they totally disregard the clear teaching of Christ in Luke 17—”until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” The interval between the Rapture of the church and the beginning of God’s Wrath upon the ungodly is identical to the Genesis account of the flood, “on the very same day Noah...entered the ark, the fountains of the great deep burst open.” It will be exactly the same at the Rapture— The Rapture Initiates Wrath! Peter uses the same parallel as Christ and puts the same two events together, the Rapture and God’s Wrath. “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly, and turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly, and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds,) then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment”-2 Peter 2:4-9. As noted earlier, these two events, the Rapture and the Day of the Lord are two back to back events. Both are coupled to the parousia of Christ, both flow concurrently on the same day. In all of the texts looked at thus far the theme of “salvation” and “rescue” is extended to the godly prior to the destruction of the ungodly. This also is the concept the Apostles Paul gives in his epistles to the Corinthians and the Thessalonians. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul is addressing the validity of the Resurrection relevant to Christ and then that of the Believer. In the heart of this chapter Paul ties the parousia of Christ to the end. “The End” is always depicted as the end of some act or state, its the last in any succession or series. It is the result of an event marking the end, which in this case is the Day of the Lord. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order; Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming (parousia).
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Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power”—1 Cor. 15:22-24. At the parousia of Christ, with the sequence of events that follows, Christ will put an end to “all rule and all authority and power.” He will deliver the kingdoms of this world to God the Father only after he ends the rule and authority and power of Satan’s dominion. The Day of the Lord will be more than just the destruction of the ungodly, it is a transfer of dominion. Revelations 11:15 is the sounding of the seventh trumpet judgment “and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Presently, Satan’s dominion is over the economic, political, cultural, social and even “religious” systems that operate in the world. Tarry Law in his book “The Truth about Angels” says the orders or systems man has developed, conform to the ideals, aims and methods of Satan. Man’s dominion was forfeited to Satan at the fall of Adam. Satan is the ruler of this world, his power is over the world’s order and the world’s systems—John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11. Ephesians 6:12 shows there is a highly organized army behind the world’s systems, Satan is the “Prince and power of the air.” Satan himself acknowledged his dominion over the world’s kingdoms when tempting Christ to worship before him. Luke 4:5-7 “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” “I give it to whomever I wish” emphasizes his control over the world’s systems. Since Christ declined his offer, Satan will give his dominion over to another, a future figure who will accomplish the will and purpose of Satan to obtain preeminence in the place of Christ, destroying any who opposes or rejects him as God. Paul describes this figure as “the man of sin, the son of perdition, the lawless one,” who’s coming is according to the working of Satan with all power, signs, and lying wonders—2 Thess. 2:3-9. John contributes this present age to the coming of antichrist, asserting that it is the last hour. “Little children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrist have come, by which we know that it is the last hour”—1 John 2:18. Even today we can see the spirit of antichrist working in the world’s systems, which will escalate to unparallel proportions once Satan’s spawn appears on the world scene. He will easily take over the political, economic, and religious systems of the world. Look at what the Apostle John reveals in the Revelation concerning Satan and the rising the Antichrist. “So they (the world) worshiped the dragon (Satan) who gave authority to the beast (Antichrist) and they worshiped the beast…”—Revelation 13:4. “Then I saw another beast (false prophet) coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast (Antichrist) in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed”—Rev. 13:11-12. “ The beast that was, and is not, is himself the eight, and is of the seven, and is going to
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perdition. The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast”—Rev. 17:11-13. An incredibly deceptive alliance of internationally powerful political and religious entities will appear during the Seventieth Week of Daniel headed up by Satan himself attempting to prevent Jesus’ reign from ever being established. The root of Satan’s identity is pride, self-will, and rebellion entwined. Together these characteristics spell independence from God and is recognized as the spirit of lawlessness. The Antichrist will be the embodiment of all that Satan is, he is depicted by Paul as the “lawless one”. Satan’s direct control over humanity will dramatically intensify, therefore Satan’s system of idolatrous worship must be wiped clean from the face of the earth before Christ begins His rule as King of Kings. Our text in 1 Corinthians reveals that at the parousia of Christ, after he has resurrected (Rapture) his Church, He will put an end to all rule and all authority and power. That means that Satan’s control over this worlds system will come to an end, human government will now fall under the authority and dominion of Christ. The empire that Satan raises up through the Antichrist will crumble. Paul even tells us how this will come to pass in his second letter to the Thessalonians. “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming (parousia)”—2 Thessalonians 2:7-8. So again, we see that “Rapture Initiates Wrath.” First Christ will deliver His Church, then destroy the ungodly, Satan’s dominion over this world, and the Antichrist. See the chart below for all corresponding verses.

Rapture Text Matthew 24:27-30 1 Corinthians 15:23 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Thessalonians 5:9 2 Thessalonians 1:7 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 2 Peter 2:4-9 2 Peter 3:12

Day of the Lord Text Matthew 24:37-39 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3,9 1 Thessalonians 5:9 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 2 Thessalonians 2:3,8 2 Peter 2:4-9 2 Peter 3:10-12

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Chapter Seven ~ The day of the lord VII. JUDGMENT (Seventh Seal) “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and the other left”—Matthew 24:37-41. “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the alter. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angel who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound”—Revelation 8:1-6. The day of the Lord is one of the major threads woven throughout the framework of biblical prophecy. The term “day of the Lord” appears in four New Testament passages—Acts 2:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; and 2 Peter 3:10. The prophets wrote more about it and provided the foundation for the New Testament writers—Isaiah 2:12; 13:6,9; Ezekiel 13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:5. The Day of the Lord is a period that begins with the Rapture and ends with the battle of Armageddon. It is a period of intense judgment upon the world played out in the trumpet and bowl judgments of Revelation. What will this momentous day be like and what will God accomplish in it? We have already seen that the primary function of the Great Tribulation (persecution of God’s elect and Israel by Antichrist) will be to separate the wheat (Bond Servants of Christ; the elect) from the tares (Counterfeit Christians). Looking at Jesus’ teaching to His Disciples he relates it to the end. He taught there would be wars and rumors of wars but these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. Earthquakes, famines, pestilences will intensify but “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” He described the great tribulation of National Israel and that of God’s church, and with His description of all that we would suffer we are admonished to “endure to the end”— Matt. 24:13. Then He stated that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, “then the end will come”—Matt. 24:14. We find then, the focus shifts as Christ returns to rapture the church Israel becomes the primary focus of the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is the time when God will purge and purify Israel. It will be a time when the blindness of Israel will be lifted and as a Nation, she will look to Christ for redemption and deliverance. “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the
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fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob, for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins”—Romans 11:26-27. In Revelation 12:14, Israel during the Great Tribulation is driven into the wilderness. During the Day of the Lord, it is in the wilderness that God will cause Israel to pass under the rod where she will be purged. Like Israel’s forefathers, God will plead His case with her face to face where He will bring her back into the bond of the covenant restoring Israel as His special people. “As I live, says the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you, says the Lord God. I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me, I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord”—Ezek 20:33-38. God will renew and fulfill his oath to Abraham and will restore National Israel. She will know in that day that God has not dealt with her according to her sin but for His name’s sake He will accept Israel as a sweet aroma. Israel will be exalted and hollowed before all Gentile nations. The fullness of the Gentiles will have been completed and Israel will stand as the primary Nation, God’s Nation above all others. Suddenness What is attributed to the Day of the Lord is suddenness. It will come without warning and will catch mankind off guard. Sudden unexpectedness is the imagery Jesus gives in two illustrations, both from Old Testament times. The total destruction of the world in the flood in Noah’s day, and the complete destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire and brimstone. One was a judgment by water, the other by fire. “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: The ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed”—Luke 17:26-30. Up to the breaking of the sixth seal, men will be living life and tending to their every day tasks as usual, totally unaware that God’s judgment is looming above them. So swift is God’s judgment it will overtake them as a thief in the night. So abrupt is His Day the world will travail as labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and God’s word declares, they shall not escape. “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so come as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and Safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon the, as labor pains upon a pregnant women. And they shall not escape”—2 Thessalonians 5:2-3.
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Look around you, today people live their lives as though there is no consequence for their actions. Society will continue its downward spiral until men will forget, even deny the validity of Christ’s coming to judge mankind and bring an end to men’s rebellion towards God. “Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget; that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men”—2 Peter 3:3-7. Just as Noah’s day, man’s wickedness is accumulating the judgment of God’s wrath, and He has reserved fire for the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. Just a few verses later Peter states that the Day of God’s fiery judgment will come as a thief in the night, suddenly, without warning. A fiery judgment As foretold by Peter, the Day of the Lord will be a judgment of fire. The truth of it is saturated in the Old and New Testaments. Matthew records the Lord’s teaching on the Tares and the Wheat. The great tribulation is the process of separating the tares and the wheat. The wheat is gathered into God’s granary so to speak, that is, Christ raptures his church to himself then the tares (the ungodly) are gathered and burned in the fire—Matthew 13:36-43. This truth is illustrated by John the Baptist when he addressed the Pharisees and Sadducces concerning Christ’s baptism—”I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire:—Matthew 3:11-12. Fire is an purging agent, it can heat elements like gold and steel cleaning it of impurities. Fire as well is a very destructive agent, it consumes elements like wood, straw, and chaff like our verses above. The great tribulation will be the purging of the church making her ready for the Lamb. The day of the Lord will be the destruction by fire of the ungodly when the Lord Jesus is revealed. Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 says that when “the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The lawless one (Antichrist) will experience the fiery judgment of God “whom the lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming”—2 Thessalonians 2:8. Ultimately, at the end of the 70th week of Daniel, Antichrist with is false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone—Rev. 19:20. In the prelude to the seven trumpet judgments an angel is seen taking a censer, filling it with fire from the alter which is before the throne of God and throwing it to the earth causing noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake—Revelation 8:3-5. The first six trumpets all are associated with fire and are listed below. THE FIRST TRUMPET (Rev. 8:7)
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“The first angel sounded; And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.” THE SECOND TRUMPET (Rev. 8:8-9) “The the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” THE THIRD TRUMPET (Rev. 8:10) “Then the third angel sounded; And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.” THE FORTH TRUMPET (Rev. 8:12) “Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so tat a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.” THE FIFTH TRUMPET (Rev. 9:1-2) “Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.” THE SIXTH TRUMPET (Rev. 9:13,17) “Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates...And thus I saw the horses in the vision; those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone.” Even in the Fourth Bowl Judgment power was given to the sun to scorch men with fire. The Day of the Lord will be a judgment of fire and should be taken literally. It will consume earth, air, and sea; and still men will blaspheme the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and will not repent of their deeds—Rev. 16:11. Isaiah describes the indignation of the Lord’s coming and associates it with fire. “For behold, the LORD will come with fire. And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword the LORD will judge all flesh; And the slain of the LORD shall be many”—Isaiah 66:15-16. Through out history God has used human means to carry out his judgments. But the day of the Lord can only be attributed to God Himself. Mankind will recognize God’s fiery judgment and curse Him for it. It will be an unnatural and supernatural unleashing of God’s Wrath on the ungodly and the Kingdom of Antichrist, ending human government, destroying the dominion of Satan over the earth in a final, total, and climactic way, God’s way! Men today experience the
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longsuffering, compassion, grace and love of God. But God is also a God of holiness, righteousness, and judgment, and because of this He will not let sin, and rebellion go unpunished. Up to and until the Day of the Lord, God will go through great effort to secure any and all who will call upon His name for “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”—2 Peter 3:9. Up to the Day of the Lord the gospel will be proclaimed to every nation of men, every tribe, tongue and people will here the good news and given warning of God’s pending judgment. He will accomplish this through his servants (the church) and by angelic proclamation, all will be given the opportunity to turn to Him and reject the deceptive ploys of Satan and his beast. God’s longsuffering will be exhausted, totally depleted, and God’s intervention will be seen in the judgment that Jesus Christ brings upon His return, “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”—2 Thess. 1:8. In the book of Joel, “The Day of the Lord” is mentioned five times – 1:15; 2:1-2; 2:11; 2:31; 3:14-16. Each text gives graphic detail as to what men can expect when the seventh seal of Revelation is broken and the Day of the Lord commences.

Joel 1:15 Joel 2:1-2

The Day of the Lord described by Joel “…It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.” “…A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.” “…the day of the Lord is great and very terrible.” “…great and awesome day of the Lord.” “…the heavens and earth will shake.”

Joel 2:11 Joel 2:31 Joel 3:1416

Though Joel describes the Day of the Lord as destruction and darkness, Zephaniah depicts it as “the day of the Lord’s wrath.” It is characterized by distress, destruction, darkness and desolation. Zephaniah portrays this day as God’s unparalleled wrath on all the inhabitants of the earth when the Lord will make a complete end of all the populace who have aliened themselves with the Beast of Revelation and have received his mark on their hand or forehead. All the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealousy because of their denial of Christ and their rejection of God’s Sovereignty. Zephaniah 1:14-18 The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers. I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord, their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like refuse. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath, but the whole land shall be

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devoured by the fire of his jealousy, for He will make speedy riddance of all those who dwell in the land. As we read and study the Scripture, we see that the nature, the very character of the Day of the Lord is a time of great wrath. Below is a list of declarations concerning the day of the Lord. A day of wrath—Zephaniah 1:15-18; I Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:10-19; 15:1-7; 16:19. A day of Judgment—Revelation 14:7; 15:4; 16:5; 19:2. A day of indignation—Isaiah 26:20-21; 34:1-3. A day of trouble—Jeremiah 30:7; Zephaniah 1:14-15; Daniel 12:1. A day of darkness—Joel 2:2; Amos 5:18; Zephaniah 1:14-18. A day of desolation—Daniel 9:27; Zephaniah 1:14-15. A day of overturning—Isaiah 24:1-4. A day of punishment—Isaiah 24:20-21. The term, “the Day of the Lord” is found in the following passages—Isaiah 2:12; 13:6,9; Ezekiel 13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:5; Acts 2:20; I Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10.

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Narrative Flow Of the Book of Revelation

Seven Seals White Horse & Rider-Antichrist (Religious Deception) (Revelation 6:1-2; contrast — Matthew 24:4-5; 23-25) Red Horse & Rider-Antichrist (War) (Revelation 6:3-4; contrast —Matthew 24:6-7) Black Horse & Rider-Antichrist (Famine) (Revelation 6:5-6; contrast —Matthew 24:7) Pale Horse & Rider-Antichrist (Persecution) (Revelation 6:7-8 contrast —Matthew 24:9-12) Great Tribulation—(Martyr’s) (Revelation 6:9-11 contrast —Matthew 24:9-12; 15-22) Cosmic Disturbance —(Sun, Moon & Stars) (Revelation 6:12-17 contrast —Matthew 24:29) Seven Trumpets Destruction of Vegetation (Revelation 8:7) Devastation of oceans and sea life (Revelation 8:8-9) Devastation of rivers and fresh water (Revelation 8:10-11) Sun, Moon, & Stars darkened (Revelation 8:12) Locusts Released from Abyss Torments man for five months (Revelation 9:1-12) Release of Four Fallen Angels—Military destruction (Revelation 9:13-19) Seven Last Plagues (Revelation 15:1; 16:1-21)

Wrath Of Satan

Rapture Of God’s Elect (Church)
(Between Sixth & Seventh Seal)

Armageddon and Physical Return of Jesus Christ A

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